Daniel Ross Thompson, PhD ’12

Daniel Ross Thompson of Pickens, laboratory manager in Clemson University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, graduated from Clemson in 2012 with a Ph.D. in physics. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from Wofford College in 2006.

After five years as an engineer with General Motors, during which he produced multiple publications, inventions and patents, Daniel returned to Clemson in 2017 in order to work with students and give back to the University.

He supervises graduate teaching assistants, provides lecture demonstrations, conducts science outreach programs and serves as building security coordinator. He has championed laboratory updates that increased the availability of labs so that students could graduate on time. He also provides free physics tutoring to undergraduates and mentors graduate students engaged in teaching, preparing for jobs and planning careers in science.

Daniel was honored by the College of Science Student Advisory Board with its 2019 Student Advocate Award, and he received the college’s Outstanding Team Award in 2021 for exemplary service to the University during the COVID pandemic. His work during the pandemic included developing custom videos and take-home kits for students that allowed them to gain the full benefit of laboratory exercises while remaining safely online.

Daniel’s community service activities include supporting his son’s Boy Scout Troop 51 in Pickens and volunteering as a local science fair judge. He leads science outreach efforts that reach thousands of people each year, such as events for regional pre-K to 12th grade schools, the Roper Mountain Science Center, iMAGINE Upstate, Women in Physics and Denver Downs farm.

He is especially thankful for the support of his wife, Heather, and their children, Micah and Naomi.